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Huizz
04 September 2012 @ 12:19 pm
When I was in Darwin, a lady told me that "the best things in life are free". Yes, indeed, the feeling of staying in a villa in Koh Samui for 3.5 days without paying a cent for the room is nothing but shiok!

Back in January 2012, I participated in a V-day contest organised by Fascinating Holidays.  Participants were to submit a photo and a 100-word write up on themselves and their better half.  The top prize was a 4D3N stay at Koh Samui's KC Resort and Over Water Villas, air fare excluded. Things just happened and I won the top prize! We had to "consume" the prize before 30 June, so 22 June was the best time we could make it for the trip.

This trip to Koh Samui marks our third (but certainly not last) visit to Thailand. We've been to Bangkok and Phuket previously. Bangkok is a big city, so comparing Phuket and Koh Samui makes more sense.  I personally prefer the latter in all senses.  Not only is Koh Samui less crowded and thus more peaceful than Phuket, the streets are cleaner, more organised and definitely less sleazy!

We actually nearly couldn't make it for the trip! Haha! The sickening alarm clock failed to go off that morning (of all mornings!!) and we only woke up at 6.55am (the flight sets off at 8.10am or so!!).  You can imagine how frantically we rushed out of the house.  Thankfully we do not stay too far away from the airport.

Phew!  We made it!

Bright and cheery Samui!Collapse )

The fireworks literally ended our short but relaxing trip on a positive blast. Despite this entry being so late (almost 2.5 months late!), memories of the bright and cheery place still lingers strongly in my mind.  On another hand, I certainly don't mind any more free trips/air tickets/hotel stays!  I need more luck!! Hahaha!
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Huizz
Within a month and a half from 10 Mar, we visited Kuala Lumpur for the second time this year.  If not for me winning the grand prize in a contest (yes, this is one of the 5 contests I have won so far this year. More on this in another post) organised by the Malaysian food magazine Flavours, we wouldn't have made this trip.  The prize is a 3D2N stay in the Park Suite of Mandarin Oriental, KL.  Too good to miss, so we just packed our bags and set off during the pre-May Day weekend.  We had actually wanted to set off on 28 Apr, but we got wind of the Bersih demonstration then, so we postponed departure by a day.

We've learnt our lesson from our earlier trip this year. No AirAsia or Tiger to KL anymore.  It's a real pain to access the refugee-camp-like LCCT which is also so darn far from civilisation.  Thankfully there's Jetstar to the rescue.  Not only does it depart from Terminal 2 in Changi, it also touches down at KLIA.  It's so much easier, comfortable and convenient to travel from KLIA to the City Center.

So, bright and early at 7.10am, we flew off!

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Huizz
I think Mum enjoyed the last day in Darwin the most. This affirmed that I made the right choice to change the day's itinerary.

In the morning, we walked from the Hotel to Aquascene. Well, one can pretty much reach a lot of attractions in the CBD on foot, but it all boils down to personal choice - to soak in extra Vitamin D from the sun or burn holes in the pocket to pay for transport. The heat hadn't set in yet that morning so we decided to take a walk.

Aquascene is on its own a small wonder of nature. "Since the 1950s, a unique and natural phenomena occurs on the high tide amongst the tranquil tropical waters of Darwin’s Doctors Gully. Hundreds of friendly local wild fish swim to the shallow shoreline in search of a gratuitous meal of fresh bread. Over the course of this enduring 60 plus year tradition, the fish have shed their normal shyness and are willingly hand-fed to the delight of thousands of fascinated locals and tourists every year." (Source: http://aquascene.com.au/) It's only opened for a few hours everyday, the exact times fully dependent on the tides. For anyone keen to visit this place, he/she would have to first check out the opening hours on the website or grab a copy of the timetable in the local tourist guides. They usually publish the timings a few months in advance.

 
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Huizz
On Day 2, we braved the heat and spent most of the day outdoor.  First stop was to the Visitor Information Centre located at The Esplanade. I had wanted to pick up a proper map but I couldn't find what I want. I had to rely on the drip and drabs of sectional maps I printed from the Internet.

 
See how blue and cloudless the sky was?  You can pretty much imagine how hot it was.
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Huizz
Not long after I returned from KL on 11 Mar, I received news that I had won a prize in SilkAir's contest to celebrate their inaugural flight to Darwin on 26 Mar 12.  Contest participants had to submit a short entry to say why they think they deserve to go to Darwin.  The prize for 5 lucky contestants (and one partner each) was a fully paid 3 days 2 nights trip to Darwin, completed with a fully guided itinerary.

Results for the top 5 was announced and I didn't make it to the list.  On the next day, as luck could have it, they announced a surprise list of 10 additional winners of one round trip ticket to Darwin. And I made it this time!

The Husband could not make it for this trip and I decided to buy an additional ticket for my Mum.  Preps to apply leave, get ETAs approved, book hotels etc were done in a quick one week.  There wasn't much time for we had to fly on 26 Mar, the day of SilkAir's first ever flight to Down Under.

Being the inaugural flight, the plane was not very full.  Before we boarded, we were each given mementos of a certificate, an notebook with aboriginal design on the cover and a little badge. 


The flight took about 4 hours and we touched down about 12noon local time.  The suaku me had no inkling of the significance of the water cannon spray the plane went through when it landed and didn't take any pictures!  Only later did I realise that this is the traditional welcome for arrivals of new aircraft or the landing of the first flight of a new air route.  But nevertheless, the welcome we received was something I would never have the chance to experience if not for this prize. 

We did not use the aero-bridge for obvious reasons.  The governmental heads of the Northern Territory, staff of the local SilkAir Office and even the media were there on the tarmac to welcome us, complete with a banner.

 
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Huizz
08 May 2012 @ 02:57 pm
No, I am not doing a promo for NTUC's house brand of household products.

I would unabashedly describe myself to be "home proud". Much as I love the country theme, I always try my best to do up my house as prettily as I can.

Unfortunately, the home deco stuff that I like are not easily found in Sg. Even if they are, they would burn a rather big hole in the pocket.  So whenever I see things that I like on my overseas trips, I will try to make space for them in my luggage.  But so far, most of the bigger items are bought from Malaysia, where my all-time favorite Lovely Lace has numerous branches all over the Peninsula.  I never fail to walk out of the shop with something, big or small.  There's always something friendly to my pocket there.

On my most recent trip to KL over the May Day weekend, I brought back 3 items from Lovely Lace for about RM68. I got the umbrella hanger, the "Home Sweet Home" clay plate and also a deco dish rack. That works out to be around S$9 each.  Good deal.  I bought the FancyBugs wall decal from the MPH in KLIA for RM39.90 a pack.  I should have bought more of that, for it only covered less than half of the wall.  Thankfully they have a pretty good online purchase system and I readily bought 2 more packs to complete my DIY mission.



How do u like the look and feel of the new stuff?
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Huizz
Within a week of us returning from Korea, we set off for a short weekend trip to KL for my sister-in-law, Y and her boyfriend D's ROM. 

The ceremony was held in one of the most famous temples in KL, the The Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur.

"The Thean Hou Temple is a landmark six-tiered Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur. It is located on 1.67 acres of land atop Robson Heights along Lorong Bellamy, overlooking Jalan Syed Putra (Federal Highway). It was completed in 1987 and officially opened in 1989. The property belongs to and is run by the Selangor & Federal Territory Hainan Association . The temple, built by the Hainanese community living in Kuala Lumpur, is dedicated to Goddess Tian Hou (The Heavenly Mother)." (Source: Wikipedia)

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Huizz
It was our last full day in Seoul.  On this day, we scaled the "summit" of Seoul, Namsan Hill.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts, the Namsan Hill is located just behind the Pacific Hotel we were staying in.  We just had to walk up the slope to the cable car station. We reached there about 20 minutes before the cable car service started at 10am.  I had some time to capture the nice views of the area.

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Huizz
Feb 28 is my birthday!  What could be better than to be able to spend this day in a very good mood in a foreign land seeing and learning new things in the company of my sweet Hubby?

Day 4 was jam packed with so many activities. First, we went to the Changdeokgung Palace.

 
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Huizz
27 April 2012 @ 05:50 pm
I had never been an amusement park kinda person. The Lotte World just transformed me into one.


In retrospect, I cannot believe that I didn't set even one toe into the Lotte World Shopping Mall.  Once we reached there, we just headed to the amusement park and never looked back.

Annyeong Haseyo! Korea Day 3: 27 Feb 12Collapse )
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